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How to create a empty destination site collection for content deployment

To perform a successful initial content deployment from a publishing site the destination has to be an empty site.

This is not to be confused with the <blank> site template.

I have had some success when picking the <choose template later> option in the site creation page in Central Admin but sometimes even this  fails.

The only sure way of creating a blank site is to use the following stsadm command


STSADM.EXE -o createsite -url <site-collection-url> -ownerlogin <domain\username> -owneremail <email@address>